La Casa 3 (aka Ghosthouse) is a horror film from the year 1988 directed by Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox), released as an unofficial sequel to the Evil Dead films in Italy, where the first two films were known as La Casa and La Casa 2.
One night a ham radio operator receives an odd message of someone begging for his life. He and his girlfriend track the signal to an old house where group of youths are staying with their camper. They decide investigate the matter together. Little do they know that the place is cursed, and there will be lots of bloodshed coming their way.
The film was followed by two sequels, La Casa 4 (aka Witchcraft) and La Casa 5 (aka Beyond Darkness), both which were also unofficial additions to Evil Dead.
Ghosthouse has the examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Susan killing Mark, thinking that he is a murderer.
- Backmasking: Lyrics to the song that the clown doll plays turns out to be chant of the word "burial" backwards.
- Butt-Monkey: Tina. Everyone is constantly either refusing to believe her, terrorizing her, or giving her tranquilizers.
- Cassandra Truth: Mark and Susan would sooner gnaw their own limbs off than believe a single word of anything Tina says, even if it fits with what everyone has already seen, because she's (supposedly) a compulsive liar.
- Creepy Child: Henriette, thanks to the clown doll's influence.
- Creepy Circus Music: The clown doll's leitmotif, which is made creepier due to an eerie voice repeating "burial" in reverse.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Ghosthouse was the title it was filmed under, but the producers decided to rename it La Casa 3 to take advantage of the popularity of the Evil Dead movies.
- Downer Ending: Paul seemingly puts the spirit to rest by burning the clown doll and the body. However, in the final scene, the evil spirits are still around, and they cause Paul to be run down in front of his screaming girlfriend.
- Due to the Dead: Whole mess got started when Sam Baker stole from one corpse too many.
- Evil Laugh: When Jim and Mark are testing the ham radio phenomenon, disembodied laughter starts echoing around them.
- Eye Scream: When the mirror breaks on Mrs. Baker's face, one shard embeds itself in her left eye.
- Foreshadowing: When Paul goes to talk to the mortician, he finds him working on a woman who has been run over by a bus. The movie ends with Paul carelessly crossing the street and getting run over by a bus.
- Ghost Butler: Door opens invitingly for Jim — to his doom.
- The Grim Reaper: Susan is attacked by a maggot-faced, knife-wielding one during the climax.Kevin Murphy: (as Reaper) "Budget cutbacks on my scythe, I hope you understand."
- Groin Attack: The caretaker kicks Mark into groin when they are brawling.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Tina dies when she ventures into the attic, and a falling piece of metal chops her in half. (Then between shots the two halves suddenly move three feet apart).
- Haunted House: The main location.
- Informed Flaw: Tina's compulsive-liar tendencies.
- In Name Only: Despite the title change, the plot bears no resemblance to The Evil Dead at all, as the plot concerns ghosts rather than demons, and the eponymous house is a more traditional Haunted House rather than a rustic cabin in the woods (particularly Poltergeist due to the similar clown doll). Furthermore, La Casa 4 and 5 (Witchery and Beyond Darkness) have no story connection with this film, even though - unlike 3 - they were created from the beginning to be sequels.
- Jerkass: Paul. His very first scene consists of him belittling other ham radio operators, and it's downhill from there.
- Manipulative Bastard: On two occasions the clown doll takes the appearance of someone else and tries to strangle its victim.
- Monster Clown / Perverse Puppet: The clown doll, especially when it displays its sharp teeth.
- Off with His Head!: Martha sees a vision of a severed in a washing machine in the basement.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Bam-Bam's corpse gives Susan a scare.
- Police Are Useless: After Paul & co. are attacked by the known madman the county hired as caretaker of the house, the lieutenant actually tells them it's their fault for trespassing on the abandoned property that nobody was using!
- Single Tear: Rolls down on Henrietta's cheek when she listens to her parents' death in the basement.
- Tears of Blood: A vision of Henrietta shedding bloody tears appears on the camper's television.
- You Watch Too Much X: When the cast wonder if something supernatural is going on, Susan says that they have seen too many horror movies.
- Too Dumb to Live: This can apply to all of the main characters who constantly keep going back into the house despite the fact that they know it is haunted and dangerous. Also the when the caretaker attacks the mortician, there is one part where he has plenty of time to run away from him but instead just kept begging.